NATCOM (SKN)- Basseterre: November 5, 2012: Secretary General of the National Commission for UNESCO, Mr. Antonio Maynard, has called on new members of the Commission to familiarize themselves with issues in their respective areas of responsibility and to make use of the opportunity they have to advise cabinet in this regard.
Mr. Maynard reported that the members were chosen based on expertise in their respective fields to keep abreast of issues surrounding UNESCO’s focus areas as well as to assist the development of the Federation with respect to these areas.
Additionally, Mr. Maynard highlighted opportunities they have to submit proposals to UNESCO for programme assistance whether technical, financial or otherwise.
He cautioned that UNESCO should not be viewed as a funding agency. “In spite of the fact that funding comes as part of a comprehensive parcel of assistance which would help to address the issues, in every case, UNESCO’s assistance comes with the responsibility of partnership from the prospective countries making requests.”
Mr. Maynard advised the new members of major accomplishments during 2012. These included the launch of a UNESCO Early Intervention Centre to identify and assist children with developmental disorders; The UNESCO St. Kitts Math Olympiad; the production of a local History text by the UNESCO Slave Route Scientific Committee and the St. Kitts-Nevis Football Association’s Anti-Doping Programme. In addition, the UNESCO Man and The Biosphere National Committee was launched to pursue the development of the St. Mary’s Biosphere Reserve.
Recently, the Ministry of Education received approval and funding for a project entitled “School Safety and Disaster Mitigation in Public Schools in the Federation” to enable the Ministry of Education to implement the necessary mechanisms to ensure that school safety is practiced. One such event took place recently at the Irish Town Primary School with a tsunami simulation activity.
The Secretary General spoke of activities on the horizon such as a Man and the Biosphere Regional Conference which should provide the basis for the creation of Biosphere Reserves in all Caribbean Small Island States. A number of returning members to the National Commission gave updates on projects they have been working on. Ms. Jacqueline Christopher provided information on the establishment of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Federation for UNESCO Clubs Association (SKNNWFUCA). Mr. Cameron Gill advised new members of a project that will involve serial nomination of a local submission for recognition as an Important Coastal Fortification.
Also discussed at length was a proposed Needs Assessment Mission to St. Kitts by the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Section at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris in 2013. They hope to have consultations with a wide range of TVET stakeholders on key issues with a view to further enhance the strategy for skills development in the sub-region.
UNESCO’s focus areas include Education, Natural Sciences, Culture, Social and Human Sciences, Communication and Information.
Minister of Education, Hon. Nigel Carty has re-affirmed the Government’s Commitment to continued maximization of available resources including that of vibrant and progressive organizations such as UNESCO. He also indicated that he was confident that the new members would take their roles seriously for the ultimate good of the Federation.
Commission Members include: Cameron Gill and Victoria O’flaherty: World Heritage; Vincia Herbert and Kennedy Pemberton: Youth; June James: Vocational Education; Jacqueline Christopher: Community Development; Olston Straun: National Science; Michael Blake and Joan Phillip; Education; Janel Lewis: Social Science; Ruby Thomas and Natasha Leader; NGO’s as well as Maria Crawford: Information and Communication.